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Founded by a couple of Stanford Business Students in 2007, Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly, reshaped the way men bought clothes online when it started Bonobos. Building their brand around pants with a curved waistband and to better avoid the “khaki diaper butt” problem, they made waves in the men’s fashion industry.
We believe you’ll agree with us if we say that there is nothing worse than pants that don’t fit you well or make you fit uncomfortable. Bonobos for sure agrees with us and it became a starting point for company creation.
The main idea behind the Bonobos brand is that pants should be comfortable and well-fitting; that is why they started to produce khakis with curved waistbands to fit the natural shape of a man’s body.
Since then, the brand grew significantly and nowadays, they are known not only for their khakis but also for shirts, T-shirts, polos, jeans, sweaters, suits, and a variety of other garments.
Moreover, the brand is known for its excellent selection of sizes for its garments so anyone can find their perfect fit.
These Travel Jeans come a whole bunch of colors, are styled with five pockets, and have the signature Bonobos leather patch on the back in the belt line. From afar, these might look like chinos, somewhat, but these are most certainly jeans. They both feel and look like true denim, because they are. They look and wear just like any ol’ pair of jeans, but then they have that real nice stretch (more on that in a bit). We went with a khaki color, and they look really nice both from afar, and up close. Would maybe like to see these jeans available in standard denim/jeans colors, as opposed to the more adventurous or chino-like colors these are offered in, but that is nit-picking. These jeans can be worn with just about anything. Due to their color, they work as more casual versions of chinos, and so they’d be great with a tee, polo, or button down. They can be worn more dressed up as well, with a button down and blazer. Plus, because they’re so comfortable, wear these on your next plane ride together with a blazer and look and feel better than anyone else on the flight.
In typical Bonobos style, these pants are very solidly made. All the details are there; they feel sturdy and stiff and will likely last many, many wears and wash cycles. In fact, the first few times you wear them, even despite the stretch, they might feel a bit too stiff. They break in nicely with time, though, and become more comfortable with every wear. The stretch is nice, but it’s not quite super stretchy. The fabric makeup is 98% cotton, and 2% elastane. It’s absolutely noticeable, and increasing flexibility significantly. Still, if you were looking for one of those crazy, four-way stretch pants that seems to stretch out double its original width, these are not those. Instead, these jeans are regular jeans, with a bit of added stretch. This is neither good nor bad — just know what you are buying. Indeed, the super-stretchy pants often don’t — and can’t, due to their fabric makeup — look like a standard fabric. So, the super stretchy jeans don’t really look like jeans. These Travel Jeans do. So, color aside, these could and should function in place of your standard jeans — just way more comfortable.
Bonobos is well known for offering many fits, and sizes, and it is no different here. It comes in four fits, and more waist and length combinations than most other retailers. I went with my typical 30×32 in their Tailored fit, and actually found that it was a bit tighter than I usually like my pants — and tighter than the comparable Tailored fit in Bonobos chinos. (You can see serious pulling in the rear and crotch, an issue I do not have with other Bonobos pants at all.) This fit inconsistency is unfortunate, because their Slim would be a bit too wide for my liking.
Bonobos Travel Jeans — $128: These jeans are by no means cheap. Yes, good jeans can cost well upwards of $100, but there is quite a bit of competition in the “stretch pants” and “stretch jeans” space, and many solid options are cheaper than this offering from Bonobos (reviews forthcoming!). Further, many people find that Bonobos is overpriced when bought at full retail. Yes, you’re getting good quality, but not quite to the level that they’re charging. For instance, these pants are about double the price of J Crew stretch chinos, and probably slightly higher quality, but certainly not double. Still, these Travel Jeans are tried and true, tested and loved by guys all around, and from the original batch of stretch jeans and pants. They’re pricey, but — especially if you get them on sale — if they fit you, and you like them, they are solid, super comfortable and versatile jeans.
The Bottom Line
Finding the best jeans for your body type can be a challenge, but Bonobos is trying to solve that with the many size and fit options offered in the travel jeans. If you’re looking for a higher end golf pant that is comfortable and has the flexibility to be worn off the course, we suggest picking up a pair or two to try out.